By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Microsoft Australia will work to improve marketing and brand consistency in the next year and focus on in-store material, according to new Entertainment Devices sales director Sean Davis.

Davis said Microsoft needed to work more on their total branding, starting with the Xbox console. 

“One of the challenges and opportunities is making sure our brand is presented consistently everywhere, and at the moment, we’ve got areas to improve in that. We’re going to start with the Xbox, and we’re going to look at our total in-store branding and we’re going to work on driving a consistent approach.”

He said further clarification of the differences between Office products, as well as Vista’s benefits, should be pushed more on consumers at a store level.

“I think right at that critical point, at the point of purchase, where the consumer’s interacting with the brand through the retailer, we need to make it as simple and as easy for them to understand the benefits of our products [as possible], and that’s ultimately what the program we’re working on now, to put in markets early next year [is focussed on].”

He said longer-term, the company’s “increased competency” in their sales division’s planning and execution would be a “key lever”.

“We’ve got to get better at planning our business out, so that’s one of the key areas we’re working on.”

Davis said Microsoft would work to include retailers earlier into their sales plans in the future.

“We want to be seen as the retailer’s best partner,” he said, 

Microsoft would also push to better use their in-store Xbox display units, he said.

“The IDU’s (interactive display units) are a very important part of our strategy. They’re an important part where a consumer can engage with our brand to trial it before they buy and I think we’ll definitely continue to support those programs.”

However, Davis admitted there was no specific plan in place, or being developed at this point in time.